Speak

Speak

by Laurie Halse Anderson

"Speak up for yourself—we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows that this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, cast out by friends and even hated by strangers. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. So she stops trying, stops talking. As retreats into her head, all the lies and hypocrisies of high school become magnified, leaving her with no desire to talk to anyone anyway. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was assaulted by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. In this powerful novel, an utterly believeable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.

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About the Author

About Laurie Halse Anderson

Laurie Halse Anderson is a New York Times-bestselling author whose writing spans young readers, teens, and new adults. Combined, her books have sold more than 8 million copies. She has been nominated three times for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists, and Chains was short-listed for the prestigious Carnegie medal. Laurie was selected by the American Library Association for the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award and has been honored for her battles for intellectual freedom by the National Coalition Against Censorship and the National Council of Teachers of English. In addition to combating censorship, Laurie regularly speaks about the need for diversity in publishing. She lives in Philadelphia, where she enjoys cheesesteaks while she writes.